Delayed cytokinesis generates multinuclearity and potential advantages in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii Neff strain

Théo Quinet, Ascel Samba-Louaka, Yann Héchard, Karine Van Doninck, Charles Van der Henst

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Abstract

Multinuclearity is a widespread phenomenon across the living world, yet how it is achieved, and the potential related advantages, are not systematically understood. In this study, we investigate multinuclearity in amoebae. We observe that non-adherent amoebae are giant multinucleate cells compared to adherent ones. The cells solve their multinuclearity by a stretchy cytokinesis process with cytosolic bridge formation when adherence resumes. After initial adhesion to a new substrate, the progeny of the multinucleate cells is more numerous than the sibling cells generated from uninucleate amoebae. Hence, multinucleate amoebae show an advantage for population growth when the number of cells is quantified over time. Multiple nuclei per cell are observed in different amoeba species, and the lack of adhesion induces multinuclearity in diverse protists such as Acanthamoeba castellanii, Vermamoeba vermiformis, Naegleria gruberi and Hartmannella rhysodes. In this study, we observe that agitation induces a cytokinesis delay, which promotes multinuclearity. Hence, we propose the hypothesis that multinuclearity represents a physiological adaptation under non-adherent conditions that can lead to biologically relevant advantages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12109
Pages (from-to)12109
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020

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